Eat, Pray, Love & Peter Rabbit

 

It is impossible to live pleasurably without living wisely, well, and justly, and impossible to live wisely, well, and justly without living pleasurably.” ~Epicurus

💕

Hello, I hope you are doing well. It’s late Thursday evening and I’ve just returned from out of town where Joe and I enjoyed a belated celebratory Valentine’s Day. I’m now scrambling to finish writing this week’s post so I can meet my publishing deadline.😉

 

 

 

wow…

what a week!

 

 

Let me try to explain…

 

 

I suppose it all  began when Joe and I went to the movies and saw Peter Rabbit.

 

 

A delightful movie experience on many levels. There were quite a few children in the theatre and I experienced a deep joy hearing their heartfilled laughter.

 

 

 The movie’s scenery was beautiful and now thinking about it I must one day visit Sydney Australia where it had been filmed. I left the theatre feeling so good.

however….

oddly…

I began thinking of Easter.

which just happens to fall on April Fools Day this year.

 

 

Ok, Let’s face it… this week was all about eating.

Case in point..this past Tuesday wasn’t just any Tuesday it was Fat Tuesday (if you’re Christian.) a.k.a. Mardi Gras (if you’re in Louisiana.) a.k.a. Paczki Day (if you’re Polish)

I’m not Polish…

 

 

However I do LOVE rich doughnut like pastries.

 

 

 following Fat Tuesday on Wednesday marked the beginning of the Lenten season. For me Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting.

 

 

This year Ash Wednesday fell on Valentine’s Day.

By now you must know that…

any day that celebrates love with hearts, flowers, & yummy chocolate

you can count me in!

 

 

All I can say is that I’m really grateful that I was born with the  event planner gene, since this week’s logistics of making sure I did what I was suppose to and not what I wasn’t took a bit of planning.

 

 

 

 

As you might have guessed (exhausting as it was) …I rolled up my sleeves, sorting and figuring things out as best “I” could

said a little prayer…took a leap of faith

and

jumped right in!🎉 (with joy)

Most likely I need to thank Peter Rabbit or perhaps the memory of the children’s laughter that afternoon as Mr. McGreger tried to outsmart his predicament.

👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳👨‍🍳👩‍🍳

Joe said that his favorite part of this week’s recipe was that with the combination of cajon seasoning, plump shrimp flavors of vegetables it created a fabulous eating experience. (Pretty impressive Joe😉) Of  course my favorite thing about this recipe was that it’s the perfect nosh for any fun gathering!

 

 

Cajun Shrimp Dip

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 large bell pepper, seeded and diced small (I used green….should have used red)

2 ribs celery, diced small

6 green onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp, cooked and chopped

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Toasted baguette slices, for serving (Joe made his own from rolls we had)

 

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and celery to the pan and saute until begins to soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in the green onion, garlic, and Cajun seasoning. Cook 1 minute more, just until fragrant. Stir in the shrimp, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Stir over low heat until the cream cheese is melted and everything is evenly mixed. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is browned an bubbling.

 

 

Serve warm with toasted baguette slices.

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Coastal Living | 5 Comments

The Tea Party

 

”Let us be grateful to people who make us happy: they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”

Marcel Proust

Bonjour!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been decades since I first learned that Valentine’s Day was a chance to express love and affection to those near and dear to me.

 

 

As an adult it’s been a wonderful occasion to shower friends with my favorite gesture of kindness …A Valentine’s Day Tea.

 

 

This past week I colored my sweet cottage with the colors of love…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

red, pink and white.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sprinkling candy hearts around the cottage table…

 

 

 

 

and scattering them generously with love💕

 

 

enjoying a teatime conversation embracing the theme of friendship…

 

 

and creating an environment which encourages each other…

 

 

as we share from the heart as friends.

 

👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👩‍🍳👨‍🍳💕👨‍🍳

 

 

 Since I was hosting a Valentine Tea Joe helped choose which tea sandwiches to prepare the day before the tea. It was fun and we enjoyed the process of creating some yummy English tea sandwiches.  What’s nice about making the sandwiches is that there was enough mixture left to make sandwiches for ourselves  the next day!

 

 

English Tea Sandwiches

Ingredients:

For the Cucumber Dill Sandwich:

1/2 cucumber large

4 oz cream cheese softened

lemon zest

1 pinch salt

dill chopped

6 slices potato bread

 

 

For the Salmon Sandwich:

1 package smoked salmon

1/2 cucumber

2 oz. cream cheese

dill chopped

pinch of salt

6 slices potato bread

 

 

For the Egg Sandwich:

4 eggs hand boiled

2 tablespoons butter softened

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 pinch paprika

6 slices potato bread

For the Cranberry Chicken Sandwich:

3 chicken breast boneless

1/4 teaspoon thyme

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 oz. cranberries

Sprig of watercress

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons dijon

6 slices potato bread

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Instructions:

For the Cranberry Chicken Sandwich:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Season chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and thyme. Bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool, cut cooked chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  2.  Mash the cranberries in a bowl. This step is messy! ( I forgot to add the cranberries. so I didn’t have to get messy. )
  3.  Chop up watercress.
  4. In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise and dijon mustard.
  5. Combine cranberries, chicken, mayonnaise mixture until incorporated
  6. Butter sliced white bread. Add chicken mixture and a layer of watercress. Cut off crusts, then cut rectangles.

For the Cucumber Dill Sandwich:

1. Chop dill. Combine with softened cream cheese, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. (This mixture will be used again).

2. Cut paper thin slices of cucumber.

3. Spread cream cheese mixture onto white bread and add cucumbers slices. Cut off crusts, then cut rectangles.

For the Salmon Sandwich:

  1. Spread the same cream cheese mixture from the cucumber dill sandwiches onto the pumpernickel bread.
  2. Add a layer of cucumbers, then salmon
  3. Cut a circle out of the sandwich.
  4. Transfer some of the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag and pipe a dollop. Add a dill sprig for garnish.

For the Egg Sandwich:

  1. In a bowl, mash hard boiled eggs.
  2. Chop watercress
  3. Add butter, mayonnaise, paprika and watercress to a bowl. Mix until combined.
  4. Butter bread slices. Add egg mixture.
  5. Cut off crust. Cut rectangles.

🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥

Whether you are a first time tea-goer, or have attended many teas…it’s always good to review the basics of a successful tea. Here is a video with a few tips.  (I apologize for the screen being small.  Earlier in the morning I had done a Facebook LIVE and didn’t realize that the camera was still at a different angle.) Enjoy! 💕

 

 

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Garden/Tea Time | Tagged , | 6 Comments

A Sweet New Month

 

 

“Life is a journey and LOVE makes that journey worth while.” ~anonymous

 

💕Happy February, Sweet Friend!💕

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me share my romantic little dresser with you.

remember the one that returned home with me last week…  read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m happy that it fits into a small corner in the cottage bath.

 

 

Last months efforts of evaluating what I no longer needed,

 

 

loved, felt was beautiful

or

 

 

had simply outgrown, has paid off with my feeling much more organized.

 

 

Clearing out those items that cluttered the space around me

 

 

believing that this year is a continuous “work in progress”…

change will be the sweetest and most exciting way to express myself.

 

In the words of Mother Teresa, who said she didn’t do great things but little things with a great deal of love…

 I wish you a month filled with little things sprinkled with love.💗

 

🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕

 Homemade Vegetarian Pizza Recipe

(altered from mygorgeousrecipes.com)

With the Super Bowl just around the corner I thought  it would be fun to make pizza as a munch food. This recipe was super easy because I purchased the pizza dough and the rest was just slice, dice and bake! how easy is that!  I have to admit that Joe loves his sauce so we sort of over did it. just a bit.

 

 

Ingredients

(any pizza dough bread)

For the topping:

1 cup of tomato passata with onion and garlic

 

 

( I added 1 tofurky veggie Italian sausage thinly sliced)

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup of sliced black olives

1 green pepper

1 yellow pepper

 

 

1 cup of sliced closed cup mushrooms

1 cup mini mozzarella balls

1/4 tsp dried Italian herbs

1/4 tsp dried oregano

Directions:

Sprinkle some salt over the mushrooms and put them on the grill for 3-4 minutes. Cut the peppers in to strips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pour a little olive oil  then spread the tomato passato over, sprinkle some dried Italian herbs, grated Cheddar cheese, mushrooms, peppers, olives and mini Mozzarella balls.

 

 

Sprinkle some oregano on top, then pop in oven at 425 for 7-10 minutes.

 

As you can imagine I am so grateful for being able to live on such a beautiful spot on the earth. I love sharing the beauty with you. Enjoy!

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Our Cottage | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Almost February

 

”Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.” ~anonymous 

 

Okay…I have just one question.

 

 

W.h.e.r.e. did the week go?

I’m hoping you had a great one!

Here is a peek at mine.😉

 

 

 

 

Since last week’s chat  here   Joe and I visted our good friends for lunch and spent a delightful afternoon enjoying great food, friendship and even learning a new card game! Woo! Hoo!🤗

then…

 

 

 

 

A few days later I attended  a lovely High Tea. a social butterfly🦋 indeed

just recently…

 

 

I had been on the hunt 🚗 for a vintage dresser.

 

 

wanting “extra” storage in the cottage bathroom

 

 

I thought perhaps a dresser might do the trick.

 

 

After perusing several antique shops I was excited to feast my eyes upon this beauty.🤗

 

 

The size was good. not too large

and…

 the style was perfect! from the 40’s

 

 

 After checking it over I was quite certain it measured up.

 

 

So after a little bartering I snatched it!

because…

 

 

There’s a special cottage just waiting to give it a big hug and welcome.😉

(I promise to share photos next week. (which will be here before you know it!)😉

and now…

on to the cottage kitchen

 

 

I’m so excited to share this week’s recipe because it is super yummy! As I recently mentioned Joe now helps out with choosing the weekly recipe. 🤗 Let me tell you he chose a winner. We both loved everything about this one. Not only is it easy to prepare it’s  the perfect comfort food on a winter day. (stormy day here on the coast.)💕

 

 

SHRIMP FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

(Recipe from Food Network)

 

 

Ingredients

Kosher salt

12 ounces fettuccine

Olive oil, for tossing

3/4 pound large shrimp (about 16), shelled and deveined, tails removed

Freshly ground black pepper

1 stick  (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

2 cups heavy cream

2 pinches freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 

 

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt generously. Add the pasta, and boil according to package directions until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Strain, and toss with a splash of oil.

Meanwhile, arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a large pie pan or paper plate, and pat them with a paper towel until completely dry. Season with salt and pepper.

 

 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter melts, raise the heat to medium-high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the skillet so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, until the underside is pink, 1-2 minutes. Flip the shrimp, and cook until fully pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium, and add the remaining 6 tablespoons butter. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits. When the butter has mostly melted, whisk in the cream and nutmeg and bring to a simmer, then cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to keep the sauce warm.

 

 

Whisk the Parmigiano-Reggiano into the sauce. Add the shrimp and cooked pasta, and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot in heated bowls.

 

 

Cook’s Note

Don’t worry if  it seems like there is too much sauce. As soon as everything is tossed together, the sauce will start to cling to the pasta and thicken before your eyes.

And before you go…

I just have to show off my clean organized cottage loft. (I set cleaning this space as my January goal.)💕 I hope you like it!😘

Sea-Ya!🧤

 

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Our Cottage | 6 Comments

January…A Day At A Time

 

 

“In my life’s chain of events nothing was accidental. Everything happened according to a need.” -Hannah Senesh

 

💗Greetings, sweet friend!💗

 

 

 

 

I find that many things I do around the home mirrors what often is going on within me.

 

 

 I’m very much aware that there are spaces in my life that Id like to switch around.

 

 

Recently I felt the urge to switch decor in the cottage

 

 

and discovered that when switching things around

going slowly works best.

 

 

Sometimes I toss things out….

other times I just switch things a bit.

 

 

 January a new month…

 

 

 

The month of beginning again

(no matter what has been in the past)

 

 

 

I have a new beginning to  dream…

 

🥣🥫🍽🥧🥫🍽🥧🥣🥫🍽🥧🥣🥫🍽🥧🥣🥣🥫🍽🥧🥣🥫🍽🥧🥣🥫🍽🥧🥣🥫

 

 

This week Joe and I prepared a Florentine tuna casserole. It had a combination of tuna, pasta, spinach, and cheddar cheese. It was Joe’s idea to switch around the recipe by using mini bowtie pasta (farfalle) and sliced sauteed 🍄 mushrooms. I must say this change was a great switch!

 

 

FLORENTINE TUNA CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

1 package (12 ounces) egg noodles, cooked and drained

2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained

2 cans (6 1/2 to 7 oz. each) tuna, drained

1 large jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos

2 teaspoons grated onion

2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, divided

Directions:

Cook the noodles in boiling salted water following the package directions.

 

 

Combine the cooked noodles, well-drained spinach, tuna, pimiento, grated onion, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese.

 

 

Top with the remaining cheese; cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

 

If by chance you happen to be in the mood to switch things (recipe) up you can also replace the pimientos with diced roasted red peppers, and substitute frozen chopped cooked kale for the spinach. or anything else you might desire.😉

Enjoy!

 

 

Marcia
Posted in Our Cottage | 10 Comments